Barack Obama

3 Ways to Make Obamacare Less Horrible

It's a dumb and deeply offensive law, but it can be made less dumb and less offensive.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Beast on April 12, 2014. Read it there.

Last month, even as President Obama touted the "8 million people" who signed up for individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act, he granted that the program was far from perfect—or even complete. "There are going to be things that need to be improved," he told the press, insisting that there wouldn't be "any hesitation on our part to consider ideas that would actually improve the legislation."

OK then. Even though I think Obamacare is a truly epic mistake (more on that later), here are three obvious ways to make the president's signature legislative achievement better, cheaper, and more cost-effective.

1. Allow anyone who wants to, regardless of income or age, to purchase a low-cost "catastrophic plan."

As it stands, only people under 30 and folks who qualify for a variety of "hardship exemptions" can buy cheap "catastrophic plans" that are designed "to mainly protect…you from very high medical costs." But the whole point of health insurance is to protect you from "very high medical costs." Indeed, the only clear benefit of Medicaid insurance is that it helps beneficiaries buffer "large, health-related financial shocks." (Medicaid certainly doesn't appear to improve health outcomes.)

The difference in premiums between a catastrophic plan and "bronze" plan is substantial. I plugged in info for a hypothetical 29-year-old male making $40,000 a year and living in Butler County, Ohio (I live there part-time). Catastrophic plans cost as little as $128 a month, with a $35 per doctor visit co-pay and a $6,350 deductible and out of pocket maximum. Bronze plans start at $191 a month, fully one-third more than the catastrophic plan, with a $6,000 deductible.

Because catastrophic plans are not generally available to people 30 and older, it's tough to make exact comparisons for older Americans, but there's every reason to believe that the stripped-down plans would be much cheaper while also protecting against medically induced bankruptcies. If one of the main goals of Obamacare is to put "consumers back in charge of their health care," as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) claims, giving people one more choice makes total sense.

2. Force insurers to compete across state lines. For all the press surrounding the total number of signups, the fact is that each state comprises a solitary health-care market. That means two things, neither of which is likely to make Obamacare more successful or less costly.

First, some individual state markets may simply go belly up because not enough people, or the wrong demographic mix, signed up. An analysis of government enrollment data by Avalere Health found huge discrepancies among the states, with less than half hitting their targets. After accounting for attrition due to nonpayment of premiums, Avalere estimates that Florida enrolled about 199 percent of its target, California enrolled about 186 percent, and Idaho about 185 percent. However, such strong results are more than balanced by states such as Minnesota (57 percent), New York (49 percent), and Hawaii (46 percent).

As important, overall enrollment by "young invincibles"—generally healthy people between the ages of 18 and 34 who are paying higher premiums to subsidize coverage of older Americans—came in at around 28 percent. Obamacare's architects were assuming that 40 percent of young invincibles would sign up. That miscalculation could mean serious trouble in terms of actuarial soundness. Within Obamacare's own framework, expanding the risk pool to the national level is a no-brainer.

Second, a national market would also spur competition and thus lead to better prices and more innovation. This is something we all understand when it comes to most goods and services. If New Jersey banned the importation of vegetables from other states, that would be a boon to Garden State produce magnates but a clusterfuck for consumers. Progressives have long argued that allowing insurers to sell health plans across state lines would lead to a "race to the bottom" in terms of coverage that would screw over unsuspecting customers. But under Obamacare's diktat, a national floor for benefits and covered services has effectively been set.

The other big argument is that out-of-state insurers won't have the leverage to negotiate lower prices with local doctors and hospitals, so they either wouldn't win customers or even be interested in competing. Come on already. As my Reason colleague Ronald Bailey has shown, health insurance markets in any given state are so heavily concentrated among a few firms precisely because of antitrust exemptions granted by Congress in 1945. "The truth is," argues Bailey, "that companies don't want competition; they want government guaranteed profits."

Health insurance companies, in cahoots with state insurance commissions, have carved up their territories like old-school mob families. A true national market that would force insurers to compete for customers on the basis of price and service would expand consumer options and eventually lead to new ways of doing business.

3. Grow the supply of medical care already. Proponents of Obamacare have paid a lot of attention to forcing more people into the health-care system via the individual mandate, Medicaid expansion, and premium subsidies. They've spent next to no energy on growing the supply of medical care. It's not a pretty picture when demand increases and supply stays flat. In fluid markets, you get price hikes; in massively regulated ones such as health care, you get long waiting times, rationing, and pissed-off customers. No wonder nurses and other practitioners are freaking out.

Robert Graboyes is an economist who studies health-care economics at The Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He says the quickest way to grow the supply of health care is to ditch all sorts of barriers to entry such as "certificate of need requirements, protectionist professional licensing, benefit and/or provider mandates, scope-of-practice limitations, restricted medical school admissions, and medical tort laws." Scrapping all of these (and more) would be best, but deep-sixing any of them would be a great start.

Think about it: Nearly three dozen states have "certificate of need" laws governing when new hospitals can be built or existing ones can expand. In those states, existing providers can effectively veto new competition. That's idiotic under the best of circumstances. Under Obamacare, it's downright criminal. Columbia economist Frank Lichtenburg calculates that in terms of medical interventions, nothing beats pharmaceuticals when it comes to increasing and extending the quality of life. Yet under Obamacare, it's still going to cost $1 billion and 10 years to bring new drugs to market.

As I noted above, I'm not a fan of the Affordable Care Act. Cost projections for massive government health-care programs are about as reliable as the ones used for military interventions, and the Congressional Budget Office has already increased its original cost estimate for the first full decade of Obamacare's costs by 100 percent. There's surprisingly little reason to believe that forcing us to buy insurance will make us healthier even as it makes our wallets lighter. The federal government should no more be in the business of guaranteeing health insurance than it should be in the business of surveilling its citizens or bombing foreign countries independent of war resolutions. I think the Supreme Court's decision to rubber-stamp the individual mandate even as it rewrote the law to make it constitutional is one of the great blunders of American jurisprudence.

As a libertarian, I ask you: What else is new? Obamacare is not just a dumb law but a deeply offensive one (on this at least, the American people have my back). That doesn't mean it can't be made less dumb and less offensive.

This article originally appeared in The Daily Beast on April 12, 2014. Read it there.

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  1. Repealing the whole fucking thing has to be the first step.

    Too bad it won’t happen.

    1. It can totally happen.

  2. Using “8 million” as the number was an ADMISSION of failure. It was supposed to insure 30 million people. When even the President can’t lie his way above 8 million (though he lied TO that number – not all of those 8 million actually paid their bills, and it wasn’t an 8 million net gain because of those who lost insurance), that’s admitting it was an utter failure.

    Imagine the Canadiens saying “Hey, at least we scored 2 goals, even though we needed 8 to win.” That’s fucking exactly what Obama said, and we’re pretending it wasn’t an admission that he and his policy ate shit.

    1. Uh, 7 million was claimed as the figure for the first year signups. It was/is touted to eventually cover 25-30 million people, although I guess it will be more…..

      Let me guess.

      If it signs up more than promised, you will be outraged.
      If it signs up less than promised you will be outraged.
      If it holds costs down, you will be outraged.
      If costs go up, even though they were going up double digits per year beforehand, you will be outraged.
      If it helps people be happier and live longer, you will be outraged.
      If it helps with job portability and therefore innovation and the starting of new ventures, you will be outraged.

      Do I have it right? Close?

      1. If government gets more deeply involved in parts of the economy and people’s personal lives that it has no business involving itself with, I will be outraged. Governments have shown themselves able only to sap the economies they ride upon, never to meaningfully contribute to them, and the PPACA if yet another example of a massive set of government imposed inefficiencies that will benefit primarily the rent seekers, cronies, and preferred constituencies at the expense of patients and doctors.

        1. ^THIS

          I notice no rebuttal was attempted.

          1. Of course not. It didn’t interest him. He is looking for a heated rant. What he got was freezing analysis.
            Nice job DB!

      2. A conditional with an impossible antecedent is true in all possible worlds, so, yes, I agree with many of those!

      3. This is an interesting post, one in that you’re clearly interested in telling us what we think rather than a genuine discussion, and two, you seem to be willing to forgive any transgression in oreder to preserve Obamacare.

        Here’s a pointed question that you’ll probably duck, under what circumstances would you determine Obamacare to be a failure? What would it take to get you to scrap it?

        Can you even admit that those are possible outcomes?

        1. May I? I love this question.

          The ACA will be a failure when someone that wants to BUY health insurance (for themself or their family) on the open market cannot. (open market – not “free” market).

          Previously, many millions could not purchase such insurance.

          1. Is “choice” irrelevant to that question?

          2. May I?

            Honestly? I’d rather you didn’t, and it’s rude to ask and then not wait for an answer before you respond. It makes you seem like you’re willing to say things for effect but not adhere to the behaviors your words require.

            That said, reading your reply, you seem to think you’ve done something profound when all I see is a mess of incoherence and confusion.

            Your reply really doesn’t even make any sense, ignores such things as cost and demand, and sounds like the bleatings of ill informed adolescent.

            So no, you may not, especially when that is the best you can muster.

            1. Tough shit. I have already answered it.

              1. PB.. the answer to the question that nobody asked…

              2. Did you? I didn’t notice, you don’t really register.

          3. Previously, many millions could not purchase such insurance.

            People were statutorily prevented from buying insurance?

            Please provide a link to support that assertion.

          4. so PB basically your saying if we left the system alone instead of lumping obamacare onto the pile we would have been better off since purchasing insurance (something anyone could do in the first place)is your only pre-req for success or failure

        2. It’s all about percentages. No experienced business person (and I am one) could look at the ACA basics and argue that they would not cause an improvement over the “skin them alive” existing system.

          A large majority of public health experts – will also agree.

          In many ways, your question is similar to “Will freedom cause people to be happier?”. Well, there is a chance that it won’t under certain conditions and situations. The status quo usually benefits many.

          If the question was phrased more accurately such as:

          ———-
          Would public policies which:

          1. Stress preventative care and include it in every policy.
          2. Use science and medicine to determine the courses of action
          3. Use bargaining power of groups
          4. Pool risk (as in insurance).
          5. Provide for more clinics and health infrastructure
          6. Create better data and communication (electronic records) in the health sector.
          7. Forbid insurance companies to cherry pick and/or easily drop clients.
          8. Assure that at least 85% of premiums are paid out as actual health care costs

          improve over the “old” system?

          The answer is yes with a 95% certainty!

          So, in summary, most of the ideas in the ACA are much better than what we had before.
          But many efforts throughout history have been ruined by the “rulers”, who don’t like to see the peasants getting their fair share of the crops.

          So, yes, any outcome is possible

          1. So, in summary, most of the ideas in the ACA are much better than what we had before.

            See, Craig here thinks that the ACA is good because it’s a turdsandwich and he prefers a turd sandwich to what we had before, a shit salad.

            But being a good progressive he thinks the real ticket for America would be the shards of jagged glass pie, which is government-run, single-payer healthcare.

          2. If the question was phrased more accurately such as:

            “More accurately”? Seriously? My question was perfectly clear and accurate, I don’t know who you think you are but don’t try to put words in my mouth. There’s nothing “inaccurate” about any of the questions, you’re just trying to duck them, change the subject, and deflect.

            I asked you “under what circumstances would you determine Obamacare to be a failure? What would it take to get you to scrap it?” and you didn’t answer.

            You posted a wall of text, but didn’t answer the very clear questions.

            1. Obamacare wouldn’t have been successful if it had cost Obama an election.

            2. It’s pretty clear that his answer is that nothing would lead him to conclude that Obamacare was a failed policy.

            3. Ah, an accurate question deserves an accurate answer. Unfortunately, since there is no such thing as any law or rules called “Obamacare”, it’s going to be difficult to answer questions concerning it.

              On the other hand, if you actually had interest in the changes and upgrades to our existing system contained in the ACA, you’d read my screed above.

              Obamacare? No such thing. That would be like calling it “DeMintCare” or “KochCare” since the Heritage Foundation came up with the same basic path to improving our system. Or, we could call it RomneyCare.

              As far as scrapping it, unless I prefer double digit increases, people getting dropped from the rolls at whim, no disclosure on what companies pay out, etc…..it’s hard to imagine what could cause me to approve of repeal.

              I’d say you’d have to START with an alternative – not one based on the usual talking points, but one with proven science, medicine and math behind AND one which could and would be implemented.

              To use a similar comparison as above, I’d rather eat live (I hate it with a passion) than turds. Give me something better than liver and I’ll consider it.

              1. Ah, in addition to you being a mendacious a-hole we can add pedantic jackass.

                Make sure and dash off a letter correcting the misguided souls referring to the ACA as “Obamacare”:
                President Obama hisownself
                Uncle Joe Biden
                Dan Pfeiffer
                Davids Axelrod and Plouffe
                etc…

                Of course, that was when they for it before they were against it.

          3. It’s all about percentages. No experienced business person (and I am one) could look at the ACA basics and argue that they would not cause an improvement over the “skin them alive” existing system.

            A large majority of public health experts – will also agree.

            In many ways, your question is similar to “Will freedom cause people to be happier?”. Well, there is a chance that it won’t under certain conditions and situations. The status quo usually benefits many.

            If the question was phrased more accurately such as:

            ———-
            Would public policies which:
            [stupid prog nonsense edited for space]

            So, in summary, most of the ideas in the ACA are much better than what we had before.
            But many efforts throughout history have been ruined by the “rulers”, who don’t like to see the peasants getting their fair share of the crops.

            So, yes, any outcome is possible

            So, I keep rereading this trying to find anything related to my questions, and all I see are 1) an attempt to compare the current situation to the past which I don’t care about and wasn’t my question and isn’t really even related to it and 2) some stupid class warfare bullshit about rulers, which is comical when you consider there are actual healthcare “rulers” specifically because The ACA created panels to dole out care.

            I mean, it’s not even remotely related to my question, and is exactly the kind of thing you see with astroturfers.

          4. f the question was phrased more accurately such as:

            ———-
            Would public policies which:

            1. Stress preventative care and include it in every policy.

            Regardless of cost or effectiveness?

            2. Use science and medicine to determine the courses of action

            As opposed to using doctors using divination of chicken entrails as the previously did.

            3. Use bargaining power of groups
            4. Pool risk (as in insurance).

            Which health insurers presumably never did before.

            5. Provide for more clinics and health infrastructure

            And nothing says health infrastructure like 10,000 new IRS agents.

            6. Create better data and communication (electronic records) in the health sector.

            Because people in the that sector were just too dumb to create effective records or communicate properly. But fear not, top men in bureaucracies will set them straight.

            7. Forbid insurance companies to cherry pick and/or easily drop clients.

            How dare those evil companies act like businesses and not welfare agencies.

            8. Assure that at least 85% of premiums are paid out as actual health care costs

            Or to unionized public sector employees. But what difference does it make?

          5. So, in summary, most of the ideas in the ACA are much better than what we had before.

            So why aren’t people rushing to it?
            Have you joined up?

            1. Actually, many millions of people are joining up.

              Luckily for me, I live in that state where the GOP Prez candidate implemented universal health care back in 2006, so I do get the benefits…have gotten them for years.

              Best health care I have every gotten in my quite long lifetime. Plenty of preventative stuff included.

              Could it be better? Sure. Same is true of ever endeavor.

              Are the plans in “red” or “conservative” states better? No, not by any metric which is part of the real world.

              So, as they say, it’s the best plan out there – but it sux.

      4. Yes, ‘craiginmass’, outrage is the default position of the Peanut Gallery here.

        Mainly, they despair because their beloved Republican Party is even more shameful than the muted Obama administration.

        But they will always be Republicans – despite the Aborto-Freak police state, NSA, Homeland Security, war mongering, big deficit reality of the GOP.

        Because Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act – that is unforgiveable.

        1. Booooosh?!

          1. NO FAIR! YOU CAN’T BRING HIM UP! IT MAKES THE GOP LOOK BAD!

            1. I cannot remember a time that the GOP has looked good, but this administration pushes me to rethink my standards… If you had an ounce of intellectual integrity, you would also be stuck in the same conundrum…

              1. Actually I am an expert on comparative politics of the USA 2001-present.

                And I have the trump cards:

                Iraq War
                Massive increase in Govt spending (Bush 45% Obama 2%)
                Bush passed three (3) bills to legalize domestic spying)

                I will save the other trump cards.

                1. You’re an expert on exactly two things: sucking Obama’s dick, and making yourself look like an idiot.

                  1. Dick-sucking is always the first refuge of a Christ-Fag like yourself.

                    1. So you have no problem looking like an idiot, but you’re offended to be called out on your dick-sucking? If it bothers you, I’d be happy to describe it as boot-licking instead.

                    2. Dick-sucking is always the first refuge of a Christ-Fag like yourself.

                      I’m an athiest, you window licking mouth breather.

                    3. Dick-sucking is always the first refuge of a Christ-Fag like yourself.

                      Dick-sucking is always the first refuge of a Christ- ObamaFag like yourself.

                      PS: shreeky NEEDZMOARCHRISTFAG

                2. And this administration has expanded on all three premises… so ‘expert’ me an answer on why that is, even though they campaigned on “Change?”..

                3. I am also an expert on this subject. I have declared my self an expert and use a bullshit name on the internet so everyone can identify my credentials, and this see how “expert” I am.

                  In addition, I am so socially inept that I find myself clever. This is best seen in declaring I am only fit to be a but plug for a public figure I don’t like.

                  Interwebz, because some people don’t get any attention in real life and use forums to feel relevant.

                4. Again…. who here has at any point refuted that Bush and Obama are both statist sycophants without a shread of honesty in either of their beings. PB prog shit is stupid when it gets brought up in GOP lover circles, but is flat out retarded when we agree with you that bush was indeed a supreme fuck tard

              2. Prostate cancer looks good compared to colon cancer.

                1. reminds me of a song from my youth
                  “im sorry your cat has ass cancer”
                  by The Sweatpant Boners

        2. This idiot has really gone Mary-stupid in the last few weeks.

          Might be time to think about sending PB down the memory hole. I’m usually the last guy to want to censor, but he doesn’t care to debate anymore, only disrupt.

          Is it just me, or have others noticed a shift to batshit crazy recently?

          1. You can only suffer a massive amount of cognitive dissonance for so long before you either realize you’re being a fool or go completely insane in order to maintain the illusion.

          2. Is it just me, or have others noticed a shift to batshit crazy recently?

            I think I’d prefer Mary over PB at this point. At least Mary can be entertaining, and the value of their content is the same.

            1. Needz more “myth of the noble shit-flinger agrarian city states”..

              1. And all the weird dashes, parentheses, brackets and ellipses. I mean, I know I use a lot of punctuation, but holy cow…

                1. Man, I miss Herc

            2. So is it the Iraq War thing, the torture, the patriot act, the debt and deficit and tax cuts from the same or that “you are with us or against us” part of the Bush legacy which makes you cherish the GOP so much?

              PB is telling the honest truth – although we know reality has a liberal bias.

              History is quite clear, The freedom loving neo-cons and resource extractors, given the control of our government, sunk us to levels which aren’t even in the same league as our little burps these days.

              It would be REAL madness to desire that back. We almost lost this sucker, as GW himself was rumored to say when they told him the economy was gone if he didn’t pull out his pen real quick and sign the TARP.

              History is a bitch.

              1. Even if you aren’t him, your propensity for strawman arguments is just as disgusting.

              2. PB is telling the honest truth – although we know reality has a liberal bias.

                Got to hand it to Colbert, he managed to perfectly capture the proud, smug lack of awareness that characterizes progressive thinking with that joke.

                Because the reality-based community is the one that seriously believes in the existence of a Koch-led cabal of business interests that are going to overthrow the US government and enslave us to corporations.

              3. If you have some guiding principles it is possible to not go back and forth when the wind blows. Part of being an adult is knowing you don’t always get what you want. After all, compromise is about what you get and not what you lose.

                To answer your question, until the ACA, the Patriot Act was the biggest governmental travesty. Now they are both a horrible tie for terrible, which makes me interested in anyone for less government. I’ll join the Democratic Party and vote Hillary if I thought she would shrink government.

                1. Well, then, you should probably cast your vote that way since by any measure, government has grown much smaller (shrunk in relation to GDP and to what we saw under the GOP) under the Big O.

                  It would have shrunken much more had we decided not to pay the bills for the neo-con wars and “free market” driven Great Recession. But GW and O and the rest of them decided it was better to eat crow and still have an actual country and economy.

        3. Because Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act – that is unforgiveable.

          That’s at least two lies in one.
          The final version of the Voting Rights Act was passed in the House, Democrats 217-54, Republicans 111-20, and in the Senate, Democrats 49-17, Republicans 30-1.
          Republican support was vital to the bill in the Senate to prevent a Dixiecrat filibuster.

          1. OK, you are right, LIBERALS passed the Voting Rights Act over conservative opposition.

            forgot about the Dixiecrat racists.

            point for you!

            1. passed the Voting Rights Act over conservative opposition.

              And what party was that? Without the mealy-mouthed equivocation please.

              You of course realize your reticence on that subject makes the pain it causes you that much more obvious.

              I cannot imagine being so weak as to be incapable of discussing history accurately, simply because it doesn’t conform to my biases. One’s faith in their conclusions must be pretty damned weak if mentioning something Republicans did decades ago makes you wet yourself and refuse to discuss it.

        4. It is funny to hear some of ’em rally against warmongers, the Patriot Act and all that other jazz….and then say “I would never never never support ANY democRAT”

          That’s entertaining, for sure. I think some people are at war with themselves. It’s a sad fact that current “libertarians” are – by and large – enablers of the same party who wants to tell us all what to do in beds, in our minds and everywhere else.

          The chance of the GOP coming over to the real libertarian point of view – in ANY way other than rhetoric, is quite low.

          1. The chance of the GOP coming over to the real libertarian point of view – in ANY way other than rhetoric, is quite low.

            Not to defend Republicans, 99% of whom I can’t stand, but there are some libertarians in there. Ron Paul, Thomas Massie, Justin Amash.

            What are the chances of the DNC coming over to the libertarian point of view?

            1. Actually, much of the Democrat initiatives and platforms ARE libertarian….assuming that it actually means what you DO as opposed to the easy job folks like Ron Paul have (spouting rhetoric).

              A couple quick examples.

              1. The ACLU and it’s IRK are largely products of the left wing – yet they defend the rights of scum like Rushbo as well as others….daily!

              2. Who can deny that the major part of the anti-war efforts are on the left – again, Democrats are stronger on these efforts.

              3. Bedrooms and minds – no contest here. The Left and Democrats have done much more.

              I’d challenge you to the contrary. Please tell me what major actual accomplishments the in-power political right has on their record which compare to the examples above?

          2. Craig- where did you hear of this mythical groundswell support of libertarians for the GOP?
            just because in recent history some GOP decided to slap “libertarian leaning” on themselves as a moniker because we have been actively trying to infiltrate the GOP to get some of the ANTI-statists elected.
            the only reason you seem to want to argue with us is because you falsely assume we are republicans or someother flavor of statist but the truth is LIBERTARIANISM is the OPPOSITE of STATISM
            not the opposite of democracy

            1. Ah, c’mon!
              The Kochs own and finance Cato, AFP, Reason and a vast number of other orgs. They run ALEC, which creates right wing legislation…and gets it passed.

              From the outside – and I’ve been politically active since the 1970’s – it certainly seems as if libertarians went from being center-left to being far right.

              I suspect, as with all power, that the money and the media (like this site) and the chance to spread the word created strange bedfellows.

              Please correct me if you honestly think I am wrong. I say that the vast majority of libertarians who hang out on this site and other koch-financed media vote GOP as opposed to Dem.

              Am I wrong?

              1. To reply to my own question – from Cato themselves (Kochs):

                “Given the dominance of fiscal and economic issues over the past generation, it is perhaps not surprising that libertarians have tended to vote Republican. Using ANES data, we find that libertarians have voted heavily Republican in recent presidential elections, but with interesting variations.”

                “libertarians voted for Republican congressional candidates by a margin of 47 percentage points in 2002”

                So, in the middle of the two wars, the crackdown of the Police State, etc…..so called “libertarians” decided to give the GOP more power?

                Explain?

        5. Because Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act – that is unforgiveable.

          If they did, it was only to get more Democrat votes. So who do you think you’re kidding, turd ball?

      5. “Uh, 7 million was claimed as the figure for the first year signups.”
        Soo, then this administration had planned for ~5-6 million people to loose their existing coverage? It has been alleged that 74% Of Obamacare Sign-Ups Were Previously Insured. ” soo, ultimately.. 25-30 million people” people who liked their insurance, might not get to keep it either… that arbitrary goal might have a grain of truth to it.
        “Let me guess.”
        Yeah, why stop when you’re on a roll..
        ?
        A whole lot of pointless and hypothetical “ifs”
        ?
        “You will be outraged”… No, when the full extent of this disaster becomes fully apparent, and politically unavoidable.. the word I’ll be looking for, is ‘disgusted’.

        “Do I have it right? Close?” LOL!

      6. IF … your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle, and you would be outraged?

      7. Let me guess.
        If it … , you will be outraged.
        Do I have it right? Close?

        If they claim to benefit the guy getting the muzzle print pressed into his face? Yeah, I will be outraged.

      8. Let me guess.

        You’re not concerned that the great majority of the 7 million previously had insurance?
        You’re not concerned that 20 percent have yet to pay their premiums?
        You’re not concerned that at the OUTSET, the CBO estimated that by 2020 ObamaCare would leave 30 million uninsured?

        Do I have it right? Close?

        1. Not concerned with any of that.

          What I am concerned about is whether we can stop the double digit increases and worse care we were seeing under the existing setup.

          30 million uninsured? Well, again, the question is only whether it would have been 50 million or 60 million under the existing system. That is where it was heading…not really a projection, since there was nothing bending the curve.

          As a business guy, I don’t think in black and white. The only relevant question is whether one action is more efficient than another or than the status quo. In this case, it almost surely is.

  3. 1. Allow anyone who wants to, regardless of income or age, to purchase a low-cost “catastrophic plan.”

    Then how will Sandra Fluke get birth control?

    2. Force insurers to compete across state lines.

    Thus activating the Commerce Clause? Congress might use that to take over healthcare!

    3. Grow the supply of medical care already.

    Well obviously subsidized insurance will incentivize more to enter the healthcare field because there will be more demand and, well, when demand goes up then doctors can charge more and make more. Doy.

    1. Just call Sandra Fluke a “whore” and be done with it, you backwards-ass SoCon asshole.

      1. Doe’s she fuck for money, PB? Is she obligated, both morally and financially, to buy Dick Cheney’s boner pills?

        1. Well, sure – isn’t she? I think most viagra, especially that under the great health care plan of our leaders, is covered.

          Of course, there is a big difference between boner pills and birth control.

          If you were going to drop one of them from the insurance benefits, I’d say boner pills should go first.

          Can you explain any social or health positive that comes from Cheney getting it up? Didn’t think so.

      2. Just call Sandra Fluke a “whore” and be done with it, you backwards-ass SoCon asshole.

        “Slut” not “whore.” Interesting how much trouble people have with that.

  4. Allow anyone who wants to, regardless of income or age, to purchase a low-cost “catastrophic plan.”

    Are thieves, murderers and kidnappers “allowing” victims to keep their property, life and freedom if the crime is called off?

    1. Yes, though your point is valid.

    2. I think a vast majority of the population builds their political philosophy on equivocation, and not intentionally. So, it’s important to choose words carefully. “Allow”, to me, implies the authority to disallow.

      1. “”Allow”, to me, implies the authority to disallow.”

        I’m with you there. The “Allow” qualifier implies a legitimate, if not uncontestable claim to your property, which.. “thieves, murderers and kidnappers” lack in just about any court of law…

  5. But the whole point of health insurance is to protect you from “very high medical costs.”

    It could be said that the point of insurance is to reduce uncertainty. Most uncertainty comes from high costs, but not all. If your expected costs are $X/year, you might value insurance that increases that expectation to $(X+Y)/year but with a narrower variance.

  6. Nick Gillespie on How to Make Obamacare Less Totally Awful

    Nuke it from orbit?

  7. It is post like this one from Mr. Gillispie that indicates to me Libertarianism is a hopeless cause and unlikely to help move the country away from the disaster it is headed. The law is repugnant to individual rights and should be repealed. Period.

    Suggesting “3 ways to make the president’s signature legislative achievement better, cheaper, and more cost-effective” is insulting. Nick sounds like a goddamned Republican.

    1. I hope that it didn’t tarnish your ideological purity too badly to descend from Mount Olympus and chastise us for our flaws. Your sacrifice and this comment will never be forgotten. We all thank you, and your gift for pointing out the fucking obvious, and we will henceforth never stoop so low as to think of alternatives in policy short of totally getting our own way.

    2. Yes, he does! He sounds just like those telling us that it’s “the law of the land” and that, while we can make changes here and there, we must accept that the ACA is here to stay.

      You know, like those weak-in-the-knees Republicans who have been bought and paid for by the Chamber of Commerce.

    3. Gillespie a libertarian? LOL! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one.

    4. Of course he’s a republican!

      Koch money, which pays for this site, goes about 98% toward republican efforts. Can you really claim with a straight face that’s not an effort at getting the GOP into power?

      Of course it is. Current monied so-called libertarians, led by the Koch brothers, are all about the GOP. Big Time. In fact, the biggest of the big….

      To think otherwise would be foolish.

  8. I have the answer in TWO steps. Liberate the health care market by repealing this piece of shit (and any other government regulation with respect to this market) and acknowledge an individual’s right to contract with whomever he wishes regarding his health care. Anything less than this is intolerable.

    1. Fine. Repeal Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA together.

      Go back to a total free market.

      No one, and I repeat NO ONE has the balls to support a totally free market health system.

      “NO ONE” including Rand Paul.

      1. All or nothing? Those are Rand Paul’s only two choices, according to *you*? Sounds like a temper tantrum…

      2. Why stop with healthcare? Repeal the entire welfare state while we’re at it.

        I don’t know whether or not there is no one who has the balls to go there. And neither do you. But, let’s assume you are right and you may be. The real problem is that, thanks to decades of progressive policies, too many citizens are accustomed to getting something for nothing.

        Change this mind set, and you will find politicians willing to go there, since there will be broad citizen support for it.

        1. Fine with me.

          But I know Democrats and/or Republicans love the welfare state.

          1. But I know Democrats and/or Republicans love the welfare state.

            Both talk a good game about freeing people, but both keep working to enslave them. Both would rather be the gargantuan fish in a disasterously shrinking mud puddle than a small fish with access to all the oceans and lakes of the world.
            Suicidal power lust is no virtue, no matter which flavor.

    2. There is some truth to that…

  9. This is why the GOP is shit (above).

    Karl Rove: YOU GOT TO GIT YER GODDAMN OLD FOLKS AND YER ABORTOFREAKS AND YER WARMONGERS AND YER NIGGERHATERS AND YER REDNECK FUNDIES TOGETHER TO VOTE FOR BOOOOSSSHHHHH!

  10. This is why the GOP is shit (above).

    Karl Rove: YOU GOT TO GIT YER GODDAMN OLD FOLKS AND YER ABORTOFREAKS AND YER WARMONGERS AND YER NIGGERHATERS AND YER REDNECK FUNDIES TOGETHER TO VOTE FOR BOOOOSSSHHHHH!

    1. Show us on the doll, where Karl and Dubya touched you…

      1. Are you nuts? Aside from the terminology that is EXACTLY what goes on in electoral polling politics.

        Yeah – I used different terms. Big Deal!

    2. Nothing says “I’ve got a well thought out and reasoned argument for you to consider” like racial slurs and ALL CAPS.

      Well done, BP, well done.

      1. “All caps” means I am quoting some idiot somewhere. See this example below:

        THEY IS COMIN’ TO GIT OUR GUNS!

        I am not saying that myself. This should be apparent to most people.

        1. Cite your source.

        2. Also, I am highly educated and in the 1%, and a own a whole bunch of guns. Is THEY COMIN’ TO GIT my guns too?

          1. No one is coming to get your guns. That is a simple scare tactic to motivate wing-necks to vote GOP.

            1. I live in CA. Google “bullet button”. The Dem supermajority here would have come for my guns if they weren’t too incompetent to do so.

  11. Shit gets really weird on Sundays. Maybe Buttplug has a crush on some young lady who is in church right now, and he can’t handle it.

  12. Wouldn’t step one exacerbate the ‘spiral’?

    Step two is all well and good, but step 3? Obama and co probably think that mandating insurance does increase health care quantity.

    The question I find myself asking is whether this administration is malevolent or incompetent. I think the ACA is pretty good evidence for incompetence. If there were some master plan to spring single-payer on people, they would have been doing it already.

  13. The fuck is going on in here?

    1. Forget it, Serious, it’s Plugtown.

    2. Sunday usual.

  14. Here are 3 ways to make it better:

    1. Repeal it.
    2. Make it voluntary.
    3. Enact it fully the day Mr. Obama resigns.

  15. I see that Shreeky is busy, as usual, being a proglodyte apologist, sucking Obama tiny dick, and freaking out as usual.

    Sad troll is sad. Different topic, same sad troll.

  16. Within Obamacare’s own framework, expanding the risk pool to the national level is a no-brainer.

    This presumes “Obamacare’s own framework” has any real meaning.

  17. These Sunday comment threads appear to be more or less on topic…what’s going on?

    1. Ummmm, you didn’t get here until now?

      1. I guess I’ve been away.

    2. WE ARE ALL TRAYVON NOW

  18. Okay, changing the subject entirely: Game of Thrones

    Tyrion is put on trial for regicide but before a verdict is delivered he demands a trial by combat. This raises the question: in Westeros, what’s to stop a person that’s guilty of a crime from simply demanding a trial by combat where he has a chance of winning and walking away?

    Doesn’t sound like a very efficient justice system.

    1. “Doesn’t sound like a very efficient justice system.”

      well its exactly what you anarchist libertarian ‘might makes right’/survival of the fittest/laissez faire/’free market’/self-ordered-systems/anti-government freaks WANT anyway, so your criticisms are like, SO ironic!! HA HA!! And didn’t you know that no one could buy healthcare before!?!? BECAUSE UNLESS YOU PAY FOR MANDATED MALE TAMPONS AND PEDIATRIC CARE THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREEDOM!! HA AHHAA HAHAHAA
      /Buttplug

    2. Penis penis penis

        1. I couldn’t remember the South Park song. It’s been a fun weekend (probably not as fun as Jesse’s), and it’s not over yet.

            1. That works for my comment, or Jesse’s weekend.

              1. Where did he go, Fire Island? Or whatever the equivalent of that is on the West Coast.

                1. Isle of Man?

                2. He went to a clothing optional resort in Palm Springs. For free.

        2. “I’ll take Penis Mightier for $200, Alex….”

        1. Without clicking, that had better be a link to a Varsity Blues clip, or you’re dead to me.

  19. and, please people = when Nick posts something in Time or elsewhere, job #1 is to collect the retarded comments and repost them here so we have something other that Shreek to laugh at.
    ———————————–
    ‘Penser
    5 days ago

    Nick Gillespie’s post is dumb and offensive. Obamacare on the other hand is a good start.

    cassandra_1
    6 days ago

    For a Libertarian, or a Republican to come out and criticize ACA is just the hight of arrogance. You are the people who fought and made sure the reforms could not be better. You were the people telling the young not to purchase insurance, they should not have to pay for other sick people, they are the people who spread lies and fears and did all they could putting obstacles up, the people who voted to repeal over and over again and are still at it, the people who put up hurdles to block registrations, not to help.


    ^^
    [this one was pretty good I admit. The person seems to think the law is less than perfect because of… lack of Universal Cheerleading?]


    DesignerRants
    6 days ago
    The real question is: How do you make self-styled “Libertarians” less horrible? Read their party platforms, going back decades. They’re like the ravings of a serial murdering psychopath. Sorry Nick, but a sociopath completely devoid of a realistic appreciation of humanity should keep his opinions on things that all humans use to himself.

    1. You are the hight of arrogance!!!!

      My neighbor writes for Time, or at least she used to. She is so fucking embarrassed…. I never forget to bring it up.

    2. [this one was pretty good I admit. The person seems to think the law is less than perfect because of… lack of Universal Cheerleading?]

      They actually believe that lack of faith causes things to fail. Epi’s right, they’re animists.

      1. IF EVERYONE WHO BELEIVES IN FAIRIES CLOSES THEIR EYES AND THINKS GOOD THOUGHTS, WE CAN MAKE THE ACA WORK TOGETHER, LIKE SHARING ECONOMIES SHOULD, WITHOUT VENTURE CAPITALISTS AND STUFF…

    3. Yea, advocating gay rights since the 70’s? What kind of psychopath supports equal rights for everyone ON PRINCIPLE, rather than because it’s trendy.

  20. Fuck you for reposting this dreck.

    Three things to make it better (AGAIN):

    1) Repeal it
    2) Repeal it
    3) Secede from the Union

    1. I was going to make that

      1) Repeal it
      2) Secede from the Union
      3) Kill the masters

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kyh-lJIop4

  21. Anyone watch the MotoGP race today? Marquez is making everyone else look silly. I like when he makes Pedrosa look silly – I’ve hated that monkeyspank since he offed (TEAMMATE) Hayden in the penultimate round in 2006, nearly costing him the championship. What a fuckhead. Glad he’s never won a championship – and likely never will.

    Last – Spaniards 5 of the top 6 today. Ho. Ly. SHIT. That country is a motorcycle racer production machine.

    1. MotoGP? Is that what they call the Kings losing to an inferior team?

      1. The “Kings” – are those the ones who play a Minnesota/Michigan/Ontario/Saskatchewan game in LA? Fuck them.

  22. Moar =


    bmoore8888
    6 days ago

    It’s funny now that the ACA is a reality all of the “Libertarians” i.e. lunatic fringe republicans in sheep’s clothing, are now offering their helpful suggestions. It’s seems only like only yesterday, they and their tea-bagger fellow-travelers were decrying any govt. subsidized health plan as the fast-track to socialism! …
    Sure, Obamacare can be improved, but I would look long and hard at any suggestions from the Ayn Rand brigade before I went along, considering the fact they would just as soon let ’em die in the streets as their peculiar brand of social darwinism dictates…

    KellyCowan
    6 days ago
    Somebody is choking on that ACA success. Seems the GOP/TP and the fake Libertarians have been caught with their pants down again. A new CNN/ORC International survey released Sunday 5/11/14 says 61% want Congress to leave the Affordable Care Act alone or (12%) make some changes to the law in an attempt to make it work better. So much for the “American People having your back”. We are headed for a redux of 1998, when the Right choked on their own vomit and suffered major loses. … They never learn. The party of ‘white fear for sale’, misogyny, corporatism, homophobia, xenophobic nativism, fake libertarianism, and science denying Bronze Age theocracy draws closer to the day of reckoning …

    Mrcalabash
    6 days ago
    If Obama cured cancer, they’d be complaining about all the people dying of heart disease

    1. Didn’t the ‘right’ retake the presidency in 2000?

      1. Among other things…

    2. I like how every person who’s not an Obmamabot wants people to die in the streets.

      It’s funny cause it’s TRUE!

      1. WRONG!

        I would prefer they die on the sidewalks because running over so many corpses with my mega-carbon spewing monster limosine ends up getting bits of their anatomies stuck in the suspension. Takes a good half hour to wash all that gunk out.

        1. Two words: Tracked vehicle.

          1. Do you know easily those tracks pop off the gears – and how much work it is getting them back on? Especially when they are gummed up with bodily fluids – you could waste an entire afternoon just getting to the mall and back.

            1. What’re orphans for?

              In fact, you should just ditch the IC engine, you should run teams of orphans to pull your limo. Then, when the tracks break, you can have the orphans fix them, rather than waste their energy resting or playing.

      2. But for some reason, when the government stops private citizens from feeding the homeless, no outrage. It’s almost like they worship the government and don’t actually give a shit about anyone else.

        I remember a story a year or two ago where some petty officials (but I repeat myself) poured bleach on deer meat, rather than let it be donated to a shelter.

  23. …the comments… they go on and on and on….

    Citizzzen
    6 days ago

    If you want to tell me the AHCA is bad policy, then tell me what would have been better…The law the Democrats passed was impacted by the economic collapse, existing state medical laws, and the politics of a party setting out to make President Obama fail.

    And that is my issue with Libertarianism. It ignores reality and talks about what “should be”… We “shouldn’t need” civil rights laws, we shouldn’t need environmental laws… EtcLibertarianism isn’t based on reality and doesn’t accept where we are now as the starting point for any discussion…Good, bad, neutral, we did all the things we did, and now we are here and people who care about the country and the people are looking for ways to improve things… And a group of kids saying “we don’t need no…” isn’t helping…

    This person is supposedly reacting to an article actually proposing specific improvements.

    … it like the obelisk in 2001 = ITS FULL OF DERP

  24. “Klaatu
    6 days ago
    “Deeply offensive”? Really? What is truly offensive, Mr. Gillespie, is the anger and hatred aimed at President Obama for trying to help millions of people get health insurance, even if they have pre-existing conditions or couldn’t qualify for anything but the emergency room.

    Mr. Obama has said over and over again, that he knows this law can be improved and that he welcomes ideas and suggestions like yours. Why can’t you offer yours with a spirit if cooperation and respect? I’ll tell you why: Because to ideological extremists like you, ACA is far too much like the lower cost, socialized medical care that millions of Europeans enjoy. Before ACA, people like you were wringing their hands that the costs of our medical care system were too high, and were going to drive us to bankruptcy. Now that someone’s done something about it, you’re complaining about that. Your motives are completely transparent.

    Ritarita
    6 days ago
    @Klaatu

    Maybe he could

    Tell us how to make his article

    ‘Less horrible’“”

    ————————————————

    GET IT?! GET IT!?!?

    1. Mr. Obama has said over and over again, that he knows this law can be improved and that he welcomes ideas and suggestions like yours. Why can’t you offer yours with a spirit if cooperation and respect just shut the fuck up you racists and accept it already?

    2. Now that someone’s done something about it, you’re complaining about that. Your motives are completely transparent.

      Perhaps you’d care to spell these motives out, then, Klaatu. I mean, in addition to making The First Black President look bad, which goes without saying.

    3. Why can’t you offer yours with a spirit if cooperation and respect?

      http://twitchy.com/2013/05/16/…..ens-blast/

      ‘It’s. The. Law.’: White House sneering tweet rubs Obamacare in faces

      1. You know who else made a few laws?

        1. Jude Law’s grandparents?

          1. (Snaps fingers in approval)

      2. I read that at first as “rubs Obamacare in faeces”. Guess it’s time to call it a night ….

        1. That sounds like just the appropriate level of delirium to be reading HnR.

  25. It ignores reality and talks about what “should be”..

    Unfortunately Mr. Citizzzen died of irony poisoning shortly after writing this comment so we’ll never know exactly what improvements he had in mind.

    1. Can’t complain. I own stock in DTV and Berkshire. BOOOYAAAAH!

  26. I’m going to be in the middle of my Calc II class when the AM links occur tomorrow, so I’m posting this here.

    P.J. O’Rourke’s epic Rutger’s commencement speech, Go Forth and Fail.

    1. He acknowledges that only 0.09% of the students were responsible for Rice withdrawing, but he piles on as if those 0.09% represent all students. And most of the article is about how those kids with their iPod phones and their hippity hop music probably don’t know who Aristotle was.

      1. He was 100% correct.

        This is what passes for an educated person today…

        lesherb1 4 hours ago

        Since it was an honor to speak at a commencement, the students were well within their rights to object. There is no place for a war criminal at the podium of college graduation celebration.

        1. Well, that begs the question. It’s a shame I’m too lazy to look up a war criminal who’s done such a thing.

    2. What’s Calc 2 these days? Integral? It’s been about a decade and a half…

      1. Yeah, I just started last week, but at my school, u-substitution was covered in 1, and 2 starts with integration by parts.

  27. craiginmass|5.18.14 @ 6:49PM|#
    “Uh, 7 million was claimed as the figure for the first year signups. It was/is touted to eventually cover 25-30 million people, although I guess it will be more…..
    Let me guess.”

    No, let ME guess. You’re going to float every apology for that disaster you can think of and many others you copy from the proggy sites which you LUV!
    craig, you’re proven yourself to be a proggy imbecile; do we need more evidence?

    1. He took Hit N Run seriously. He spread his feces and ran.

      1. SHRIEK DID IT FIRST!

      2. HnR is pretty serious if you come here copy-pastaing from progressive sites and erecting strawmen everywhere. We don’t get very many leftie commenters who argue in good faith.

      3. I just looked in and didn’t bother to check down-thread; too much tulpa/no tulpa today.
        But s/he’s proven to be a source of prog-speak and very little evidence or even claims of such. I wonder if its something in the water in MA?
        (but then, living in SF, I should be careful about that…)

    2. ACA doesn’t matter to be personally, since I had GOP Presidential Candidate Care (RomneyCare) for years.

      But some of us do think of others. I feel a little better sending some of my money to the poor folks in unhealthy places like KY so they can have basic medical care.

      In other words, I do care about my fellow citizens. I am not an island.

      Other than that, my corporation(s) have always paid my medical care. Romney made it better by making sure I got the group rate and also including preventative care, etc. – sorta the same as the ACA.

      But, either way – if people are dumb enough to repeal it or turn it down, I still have MittensCare. And even without that, I can easily afford insurance or care. Plus, it won’t be long before I quality for Socialist Heaven – Medicare! I’d glad none of you will be accepting it and instead paying cash. This will allow others to use it.

  28. Watching “The Return of the Seven”. Kinda forgot what a badass Yul Brynner is.

  29. Oh, and Moonbeam’s choo-choo fuels spending I’m sure that idjit claims is unintended:

    “Transbay Transit Center’s construction costs keep soaring”
    […]
    Tough to figure what is going up faster – the $1.9 billion Transbay Transit Center or its cost overruns.
    […]
    had climbed to $300 million more than anticipated.
    […]
    Now comes word that the project’s costs have grown another $150 million – prompting the Transbay Joint Powers Authority to strip $53 million in “cosmetics””
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..hc-bayarea

    Well, chopping 50-bucks from a 150-buck overrun is ‘cutting it to the bone’ in guv-speak.
    Moonbeam is still pitching the choo-choo

    1. Nothing. Left. To CUT!

      Geez

      1. Mr and Ms Sevo do ‘lunch’ in various places and, as luck would have it, we end up with Willie Brown as ‘company’ from time to time. If you’re in the room, you’ve got Willie as company.
        I now find my right hand engaged when he comes by, but once he sits down, the stream of sycophants is pathetic enough to ask for a change of seating if we’re close.

        1. My mother-in-law “lunches” around the corner from her house at a place called Sonsie in Boston, and she pretty much said the same thing about John Kerry. It’s enough to ruin your appetite.

        2. “I now find my right hand engaged when he comes by”

          That’s a slow pitch right over the plate.

          1. I thought it was an odd thing to do, until I realized he wasn’t jerking it in a restaurant.

            1. I’m waiting for a clarification. I haven’t heard a denial yet.

            2. Willie’s expression tells me he seems to understand and *his* right hand finds other things to do.

  30. Do you know Milton Friedman graduated from Rutgers?

    No, I didn’t.

    FTA, it costs about $100,000 to get a degree from Rutgers (if you do it in 4 years). O’Rourke offered some examples of silly classes offered by the Economics Department. But there is a course titled “Methods of Cost-Benefit Analysis” that sounds useful.

    http://catalogs.rutgers.edu/ge…..pg177.html

    But wait.

    01:220:311 Methods of Cost-Benefit Analysis (3)
    Introduction to theoretical and applied welfare economics. Theories of social welfare; the normative basis for, and practical techniques of, cost-benefit analysis. Selected applications.

    1. I’m appreciating the irony more as time goes on.

    2. Welfare economics in econ speak doesn’t refer to government programs. It means a system of analysis used to try to determine the utility benfit of market exchanges. ie, how much “welfare” benefit is there totalled between the buyer and seller.

  31. Dilemma: I’m going to go away for Memorial Day, but I’m not sure where yet. After that, I’m working every weekend until the baby is born, so I want, need, my weekend to be awesome.

    Accuweather has Mammoth at 90 degrees this Sunday, and Yosemite Village at 97.

    With those kind of numbers, what are the chances that some psychopathic asshole is going to start a forest fire on Memorial Day weekend? I’m thinking the chances are above 50%.

    1. Any chance of stretching the mileage to Tahoe?
      Awfully pretty; a chance of T-showers in the bay area; maybe up there.

      1. Possibly. Up until today, I though I might get a day of skiing in. Mammoth was scheduled to be open through Memorial Day. I even skied there on the 4th of July once, but it certainly wasn’t 90 degrees.

        They just opened up Tioga pass, so I was thinking I could day trip to Yosemite (the park itself has been sold out for 6 months) from Mammoth and still do on the fun stuff on US 395 (Best beef jerky and bread I’ve had is on the way).

        Now, I’m just thinking I might go out to the desert.

        1. “I even skied there on the 4th of July once, but it certainly wasn’t 90 degrees.”

          I liked Alpine at Tahoe and can’t remember ever later than late April. Is Mammoth higher or more ‘protected’?

          1. It is in a low pass area in the Sierras, so at 11,000 ft, it is the highest peak around. When it snows a lot in the Sierras, it really snows a lot in Mammoth. In the years where they have a 16′ base and 20′ of snowpack on the top, it takes all summer to melt.

            I can remember being there in a blizzard about 12 years ago where they had to leave the chairlifts running all night to carve out a spot for the chairs. The snow went all the way to the top of the lift poles, and it was like being in a tunnel going up the lift.

            Mammoth is very inconsistent, but when it’s good, it’s world class.

    2. I haven’t been on the 405 Freeway since the OJ Simpson chase. Take a boat to your destination or wake at 3 am.

      1. I’m good at avoiding traffic.

        I just don’t want to get evacuated due to fire. They already had a huge fire outside the park in Oct, and it will be much hotter this weekend.

        1. California, this spring, is like it usually is in late August. I didn’t grow up here but I’ve lived in SoCal for 30 years. The climate is very unusual this year.

          I work in the municipal water industry so know a bit more than the average bear about what’s going on. There are people with more money than god who are looking at excess water usage surcharges and cutting back their consumption. This will be one dry September.

          1. Are there desalination plants in California yet?

            1. How about they stop dumping potable water in the Sacramento delta to save the smelt.

            2. I think there are, and none would be necessary if the state government (you know, that thing charged with doing things we can’t do individually and stealing money to do so) had made some effort at storing water in some proportion to the increase in population over the last 40 years.
              Seems the Sierra Club delivers more votes than those of us who drink the stuff.

              1. The Sierra Club is busing in the smelt!

            3. Just on Catalina Island.

          2. I could really go for one of those unmetered connections that are allegedly available in Bakersfield.

          3. California, this spring, is like it usually is in late August. I didn’t grow up here but I’ve lived in SoCal for 30 years. The climate is very unusual this year.

            Last August was unseasonably cool.

            I’ve lived here since the late 1960s, hot and dry seasons like this one happen every 10 years or so, followed by a wet one.

            The real question is why the assholes in Sacramento don’t prioritize water storage and reclamation, instead of fantasizing about restoring the wilderness that existed 150 years ago.

            1. “The real question is why the assholes in Sacramento don’t prioritize water storage and reclamation, instead of fantasizing about restoring the wilderness that existed 150 years ago.”

              I think you’ve hit on the issue.
              If moonbeam decided water was more important than choo-choos or union retirement benes, why, CA might not have a water problem.

              1. Saw the fucker on This Week today and predicted that he would blame the fires (which was the point of the segment) on global warming. Which he did. And then went on to expound how the solution to global warming was higher taxes.

                So, in short, the drought and wild fires will be solved by higher taxes. And the sycophantic clown Stephanopolus lapped it up like a porn star.

          4. widget|5.19.14 @ 12:01AM|#
            “California, this spring, is like it usually is in late August. I didn’t grow up here but I’ve lived in SoCal for 30 years. The climate is very unusual this year.”

            We had a run of dry years in the late ’70s; you’d have thought that would have driven some new storage arrangements, but it didn’t.
            We only have good records in CA since the mid 19th century, and the climate undoubtedly is ‘changing’, so, again, let’s hang on to that water.

            1. Actually, the MWD has built some large storage facilities over the past several decades. Specifically diamond valley lake, a surprising example of a government agency actually doing what it is supposed to do.

              1. Beautiful view of it from the road to Idyllwild. I prefer the water to be on this side of the fault.

                Where are you in CA?

                1. Huntington Beach.

                  1. Nice. I’ll drop you a line if we ever get together for brunch again.

          5. Santa Barbara built a Desal plant during a drought in the late ’80s. But is has long since been decommissioned. The technology would be stale now anyway and no one could start it up.

            Desal needs gobs of electrical energy and we don’t pollute here in the Golden State. So the power to run a Desal would have to come from elsewhere. I wish I were making this up, but California is getting much of its electrical power from Arizona and Nevada. CA power providers are only building peak-load generators and decommissioning steady-state load generators. The peak-load gens are natural gas fueled jet engines. Desal need steady-state power.

            1. How about nukes? e_e

              1. San Onefre has been taken off-line. I don’t know whether or not that was sound engineering decision in that specific case.

                California has an impenetrable dome over it. Ya see, the CO2 emitted from out-of-state conventional power plants never enters California, but if California makes some toxic waste it can never leave California.

                1. During that whole kerfluffle in AZ over immigration, the City of LA threatened to divest itself of everything AZ, except for the power plants.

  32. Where can one get a Jorah Mormont kilt?

    /asking for a friend

    1. Ser Friend Zone. Pity Emilia Clarke put a ‘no nude’ clause in her contract. That might be the first non-explicit sex scene the show has done.

      1. What’s the Westerosi version of pilates she’s been doing to keep that tummy tight?

        1. Sadly she’s had sex with Seth MacFarlane, so that kind of ruins her for me the way Leo DiCaprio ruined Bar Rafaeli.

          1. That is ? disturbing.

      2. The Red Priestess has no such clause, it appears.

        1. The smash cut from Dany seducing Darrio (or vice versa) to naked Melissandre was pretty abrupt, almost like the show was apologizing for not showing us that sex scene and gave us some Red Woman in consolation. I’m not complaining.

          1. I thought they were going to do a lesbian scene with Melissandre and Selyse. Totally disappointed.

  33. Arya & The Hound is my favorite sitcom ever.

    1. Arya and the Hound walk into a bar. Everybody dies.

  34. Well, I just washed my iPhone.

    Fuck me!

    1. White rice.

      1. It’s already in the bag. What are the odds it actually works? I’ve heard it works, but I’m skeptical.

        1. Washed as in went through the spin cycle? My kid dropped my iPhone 4s in the toilet twice with no problems.

          Keep it powered off for 12-24 hours.

          1. Yeah, left it in my pocket.

            Will do.

            1. I’m not vouching for the rice method if it went through the wash. Never been down that road.

            2. Pull out the battery and soak the phone in isopropanol. Don’t know for how long look it up.

            3. I once washed an ipod nano in my washing machine. It didn’t work…for a week. After that, I reset it, and it worked just as good as before.

              I once dropped an iphone into a hot tub. Pulled it out, turned it off, bag of rice for 48 hours, and it works just as good as before.

              Just try to let it get dry before you use it.

  35. Miss Globe NZ winner Synthia Nath seeks compensation after organisers confuse her with ‘another Indian girl

    1. Shorter story: Palm Oil is delicious.

  36. Jesus H Christ. Fraternity does Fiji-theme event. Triggers this list of demands:

    1. TAKE OFF THE NAME FIJI ISLANDER FROM YOUR EVENT. 2. STOP USING COCONUT TREES AND OTHER STEREOTYPICAL DISPLAYS OF FIJI ISLANDERS AND ISLANDERS IN GENERAL 3. DO SOME EXTENSIVE RESEARCH BEFORE YOU CONDUCT THESE SORTS OF EVENTS, ESPECIALLY WHEN DOING IT UNDER THE BANNER OF FIJI ISLANDER 4. TELL MEMBERS OF YOUR ORGANIZATION TO STOP WEARING OUR TRADITIONAL/CULTURAL ATTIRES, THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND ITS CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE…

    Furthermore, echoing the demands from the Fijian community, We demand the renaming of the fraternity. We want a formal apology issued on behalf of Phi Gamma Delta to the Fijian people for their appropriation of our culture and the use of stereotypical displays about Fijians and Pacific Islanders. The label “Fiji Islander” should cease from any activities pertaining to the events hosted by the fraternity. Future Greek events should be regulated by the cross cultural center (if there hasn’t be already an agreement in place) in order to stop the use of culturally insensitive themes and promote a safe, race sensitive environment. Moreover, there should be required ethnic studies classes at UCI to develop more culturally informed students. Lastly, we demand the expulsion of Phi Gamma Delta until all of these terms are met.

    1. Missing a linky?

      I have a couple friends that were in Phi Gamma Delta at U of Arizona. Anything they do is far more scary than what actual Fijians do.

      1. It’s a Facebook note a UCI friend reposted. She even changed her profile to the offending event’s promotional image with a big red RACIST stamped across it.

        1. widget does not grok Facebook. My definition of a ‘friend’ is probably overboard. Cutting the skin on your thumb with a knife to join to it with another who has done the same is unsanitary. And boys with knives was oh so wrong.

    2. I prefer the 1962 version of “Mutiny on Bounty” with Marlon Brando over the 1935 version with Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian.

  37. Six Studies That Show Everything Republicans Believe is Wrong

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/po…..z328c7aKU0
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

    ACA is working! Obama’ stimulus created millions of jobs! Taxes do nothing to disincentive investment! Rich people are poopyheads! TINKERBELL LIVES!

    Liberals and Progtards really are beneath us. They are lower order of human. As reality closes in and the Obama era ends, their recent victories will be shown to be superficial and fleeting. They can respond by going full retard.

    1. All studies work the same way. The client/owner asks the expert/contractor to study something. We all need to eat, so the expert/contractor asks the owner/client what he expects to find. Under-the-table, and from the start, the expert/contractor knows that he has to write something that will please the owner/client enough to get payed.

      This is the game. You want to pay attention to those who don’t play this game. There are those who don’t. I have my opinion of those who don’t the game and you might have others in mind They are few and far between.

    2. Did the stock market double or is my statement wrong? You must tell me since my future depends on it.

      All along I thought big O and friends improved things so that corporate profits increased and my investments have soared. Now I find out that may just be tinkerbell living. Maybe, like you guys, I should have put it all in Gold?

      Please help!

  38. Seen on Kijiji:
    No typos were corrected

    Me and my boyfriend are looking for a roommate its a one bedroom apartment but we dont use the living room at all and its kind of hiden, do its totally private and we would share the kitchen and bathroom. we have internet and cable and we both work through out the day but
    we would cut you a key.
    we are looking for a young adult.
    Must have a job and rent up front.
    we are looking for someone right away and rent is 350 a month.
    we will do it for 400 if you are wanting to move in right away and we are open tona young couple as well.
    Emails only.
    My name is Kayla.

    1. Human reason, in one sphere of its cognition, is called upon to consider questions, which it cannot decline, as they are presented by its own nature, but which it cannot answer, as they transcend every faculty of the mind.

      My name is widget.

  39. The return of “catastrophic” and other cheaper plans are all but a certainty. Hospitals and insurance companies won’t survive the poor flocking to expanded medicaid. The former won’t be able to rein in cost AND provide quality care to all, and the latter needs people paying into separate pools that doesn’t cover all the essential benefits.

    I would NOT pay even 175 dollars for an silver plan if I have the option of a HSA or a cheaper plan in which I factor in risks.

    President Clinton will seek a fresh start as a moderate and will want no part of the Obamacare stink. In hindsight, the country would be in a slightly better shape had Clinton won, not Obama.

  40. The original ACA included a public option. I would had preferred this to the exchange or policies against current insurance companies.

    After debating this healthcare matter with you people for years, I feel that the only thing I can ask is the following:

    1. Publicly funded catastrophic care for all that can’t afford it witbout going bankrupt (98% of America).
    2. A free market for all other medical care.

    Our desire to spend countless of dollars to murder a bunch of strangers should go to curing the Citizens of America.
    If government has a primary purpose of protecting its citizens, le’s start with eemergency and catastrophic healthclare.

    1. Alice Bowie:

      1. Publicly funded catastrophic care for all that can’t afford it witbout going bankrupt (98% of America).

      98% of Americans cant afford to buy catastrophic care insurance?

      I had no idea so many where in the 2%.

  41. Actually, Nick, just by writing this article you hit on the first way to make the ACA better…start to pitch in, take part in the whole reform, change the things you don’t like, pay for it differently, and so on.

    In other words, stop acting like petulant school children who just want to take their ball and go home (repeal). Its taken you a while, but glad to see the maturation. Others here should listen…its not going away.

    1. In other words, stop acting like petulant school children who just want to take their ball and go home (repeal). Its taken you a while, but glad to see the maturation. Others here should listen…its not going away.

      When socialist democrats grow up and stop whining about the second amendment, I think we’ll listen with more seriousness to the accusations of immaturity. Or, for that matter, when health care policy failed to launch under the Clinton’s. Somehow, that didn’t mean that all socialist democrats needed to sit down and be quiet, else be deserving of ad hominems.

      You know you’re not dealing with a serious person when every policy preference they have is just a concerned citizen, trying to have his voice heard, while all the people he disagrees with are “petulant school children” for disagreeing.

      I’m sorry, but ad hominems are just the argumentative equivalent of a monkey throwing his own poop at us. You think you’re scoring points with every turd, but it’s really just saying more about you than anyone else, or your policy preferences.

      1. Here’s the difference…there in not any simple “whining” about the 2nd Amendment. Its an attempt to push the meaning of it through regulations, which either survive the tests in courts or they do not.

        Whining is what you and up until this point Nick has done about the law of the land. “Repeal it.” I missed the attempt to repeal the 2nd Amendment by Democrats. Their attempt it to define it to a point it works for them as well as you, rather than cry about it. Glad to see Nick is catching on, hopefully you will as well.

        Alas, your inability to grasp this simple point says even more about you.

        1. Jackand Ace:

          Here’s the difference…there in not any simple “whining” about the 2nd Amendment. Its an attempt to push the meaning of it through regulations, which either survive the tests in courts or they do not. Whining is what you and up until this point Nick has done about the law of the land.

          Yeah, I told you I got the point already: people who agree with you are concerned citizens for progress. People who disagree are immature whiners.

          You can stop making my point for me now.

          1. OK…enjoy your day, Brian.

            1. Also, there’s this:

              Should the 2nd Amendment be repealed?

              Common sense calls for repeal of Second Amendment

              Or, just google “repeal the second amendment.”

              I guess consideration of repeal of the second amendment is “an attempt to push the meaning of it through regulations, which either survive the tests in courts or they do not”, while considering repealing Obamacare is “Whining is what you and up until this point Nick has done about the law of the land.”

              At what point does advocating for the repeal of a law switch from disrespect for the “law of the land” and become a concerned push for regulation? Or, do you, in fact, reject the idea of repealing the 2nd amendment, out of an appeal to maturity? Does the switch occur at the moment an idea becomes feasible political policy? OK. This implies that democrats need to keep their mouth shut about single payer, gun control, Citizens United (i.e., repealing the first amendment), etc.

              Therein lies the silliness in these arguments: it’s not about ideas. It’s about name calling on those who disagree with current policy. Sorry, but that too easily points both ways, and if you can’t take your own arguments to their logical conclusion, and apply them consistently, then I don’t see how you can expect anyone to take them seriously.

              1. Jackand Ace:

                I missed the attempt to repeal the 2nd Amendment by Democrats.

                Or for hell’s sake, how about democrat senate majority leader Harry Reid calling to amend the constitution over Citizens United?

                That’s taking Koch derangement syndrome to a new level.

                Democrats are constantly under the delusion that the reason they don’t run the country with outright impunity is Fox News and the Koch brothers. Republicans, similarly, complain about media bias, in general.

                In reality, both of these parties swing back and forth into power, and out. Each only commands about 33% of registered voters, and, of those, only about 15%, I would guess, are hardcore fans.

                Sorry, but democrats don’t run the country with impunity mainly because they’re just not that popular. They’ve lost the momentum for this election, and instead of conceding a lack of enthusiasm and it’s implications for their own popularity, they’re just setting it up for an “OMG! Citizen’s United stole our democracy!” story. They just can’t grasp that blatant populism and vague promises of wealth transfers don’t automatically win elections in the USA as they do in Venezuela. And, winning elections with promises of wealth transfers is hardly “getting money out of politics.”

                I assume you’ll join us in denouncing these ridiculous democrats who whine about the law of the land. It’s ridiculous, right?

              2. Thought we were done. But OK…At what point does it become childish? How about after the first couple of attempts at actual repeal fail. There have been exactly 0 attempts at repeal of the 2nd Amendment, but 50 in the House by your comrades in the GOP.

                http://www.dailykos.com/story/…..-nbsp-vote

                Don’t complain about the source…its yours.

                But I get your final point…if some on the other side act like a petulant child, then I will too. Its the definition of a child.

                1. Jackhand Ace:

                  Thought we were done. But OK…At what point does it become childish? How about after the first couple of attempts at actual repeal fail. There have been exactly 0 attempts at repeal of the 2nd Amendment, but 50 in the House by your comrades in the GOP.

                  You do get the idea that you’re still judging ideas by a bizarre criteria of political action, rather than their own merits, right?

                  You’re just trying to draw a line around democrats and everyone else so that you can point at democrats and say “See? This is good.”

                  You do get how transparently partisan that is, right?

                  So, all we would need is for democrats to have more attempts failing to repeal the 2nd amendment, and republicans to attempt to repeal obamacare less, and, suddenly, republicans are mature, conscientious americans, and democrats are immature whiners. All, while neither actually changed their policy positions.

                  You do see how ridiculous that is, right?

                  But I get your final point…if some on the other side act like a petulant child, then I will too. Its the definition of a child.

                  OK. In the same spirit, we’ll call you a petulant child. And then, you can say, ‘You started it!”

                  Thanks for being here and showing us all the way to maturity.

                  1. Welcome.

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